logo Burngreave Messenger Issue 32 - June 2003

Growing pains
by Mark Lankshear

Pitsmoor Surgery, which has been serving this community since before the NHS was founded, is planning to expand to provide room for more services, but some local residents are concerned about what the building will mean for them.

The practice size has been growing rapidly and the surgery team is expanding, with new counsellors and a part-time GP specialist, working to improve care for the elderly in residential homes. They want to expand the innovative mental health outreach project they’ve been running, but as David Emmas, Practice Manager, told the Messenger, “there’s nowhere to put anybody.”

Everyone chips in
The practice has secured funding from central government to develop the building, and the North Sheffield Primary Care Trust (PCT) has agreed to pay for a Community Health Educator and an advocacy worker for black and ethnic minority communities to work in it. The New Deal has funded a study, to see what building work will be possible, and if the finances ‘stack up’. If everything goes smoothly David hopes work will start this autumn and the new building will be open next summer.

Worried well
The surgery are considering building an extension behind the surgery, on what is now the staff car park. They own property on Minna Road and are looking into demolishing some of this to create new parking space, but residents have been alarmed by approaches made to them, including offers made to buy their houses. One resident said:

“I felt under pressure, and what made it worse was it came from my own doctors. I’m proud of what I’ve built and achieved in the 45 years I’ve been here. I’m not selling!”

“They bought the house eight years ago and were going to turn it into a mental health centre. That was a good idea, responding to local need. The house could be used, why knock it down just to provide parking space for another new building.”

David told the Messenger that plans were not finalised and that they were still looking at different options, including using the house they own, but due to access and structural problems this is unlikely to be possible. The New Deal-funded study will report at the end of June, and details of the plans will be publicised and a planning application made.


The disused pharmacy, named ‘Essex House’ that faces possible demolition.